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500 miles

Chelmsford local Chris Evans is planning to run 500 miles – the equivalent of Chelmsford to John O’Groats – raising at least £500 for local charity The J’s Hospice in the process. Starting in April, the challenge will finish at the Chelmsford Marathon on Sunday 18th October 2015.

The Chelmsford Marathon will form the final part of his 500 miles, but it’ll be the end of a long road of preparation which makes the challenge slightly different. Chris plans to keep supporters involved and up-to-date by blogging after every 100-mile completion point to chart his progress:

'500 miles in isolation sounds like a lot [insert compulsory Proclaimers gag here]. To more seasoned runners, it’s not a lot over a six-month spell… but it’s something I’ve never achieved before so I want to give it a go. I stick the equivalent of a marathon into my legs each week by walking to work and back each day, but running at a higher intensity is something quite different.

'It’s particularly appropriate to tell you about this challenge today, the day we’ve seen all the inspiring stories from runners in the London Marathon. The course for Chelmsford, meanwhile, is slightly different in 2015. Last year – the first ever marathon in my beloved city – it was two loops, starting and finishing in Central Park. This year it’s a much bigger 26.2-mile loop and, in my uneducated opinion, much more appealing.

'It’s classified as “fairly flat with some undulations” and comprises road running and tarmac paths. It starts outside Shire Hall, progresses along the High Street through to Chelmer Village, returning through the City Centre, Bell Meadow and Central Park. On leaving, we’ll pass through Writtle College onto the villages of Roxwell and Willingale, culminating later (hopefully) at the finish line in Central Park.

'I completed the Chelmsford Marathon, my first ever, in 2014. I’m a keen runner and like to keep myself active, but even I was starting to think that might be my first and last attempt considering how much I struggled during the second half!

'What I didn’t do much of last year was collect sponsorship money. As it was my first attempt I definitely didn’t want the pressure of a price tag sitting on my head on the way round. I did manage to raise a modest sum, but I intend to raise a lot more on this occasion for The J’s Hospice. They’re a cause close to my heart as they were the Official Charity of Chelmsford City Football Club the year my Dad passed away in 2013.

'So, in summary, I’ve got less than six months to complete 500 miles. What would keep me particularly motivated during this challenge is to ensure my sponsorship target is ticking over, at least at a rate of a pound for every mile. I’ll make a special effort to promote any individuals or companies who donate, say, £50. Come, on… dig deep! It’s for an excellent cause in The J’s Hospice. Wish me luck!”

'This event will raise much-needed funds for The J’s Hospice and their young adult patients as well as creating a lasting legacy for the City of Chelmsford of a successful marathon that can grow year on year, bringing visitors to the city and highlighting all that the city has to offer.'

You can register to take part in the Chelmsford Marathon online by visiting www.chelmsfordmarathon.org.uk from 27th March or call The J’s on 01245 475474, ext 3100 to request a registration form to be sent to you.

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